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Japanese labor federation to demand minimum hourly wage of ¥1,100

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Earlier this year, the labor ministry's regional bureaus decided to raise the average hourly minimum wage in Japan by 27 yen to 901 yen in fiscal 2019 through next March, exceeding 900 yen for the first time.

Hourly minimum wages are decided by the labor ministry's regional bureaus in each of 47 prefectures based on the local economic situation

So is RENGO going to make the demands in all 47 prefectures? I highly doubt it!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As for its conventional demand for wage increases, Rengo will pursue a pay hike totaling 4 percent -- with an increase in workers' basic pay of around 2 percent, in addition to a regular wage rise based on seniority.

Right, this means that the folks who are PT, contracted, or otherwise NOT full time salaried employees, the "union" is only going to demand 2% for them.

Thanks for nothing! the 2% is in line with the consumption tax increase and where in the hell they pulled the other 4% from (I know outta their nether regions) makes no sense either!

The businesses that RENGO deals with have been making cash for quite a few years now!

It's time for the leaders of RENGO to call a "real" strike, and not one of these one day, "ra ra ra RENGO" one's!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

A 22% wage increase when inflation is ticking along at less than 2%? Sounds like pie in the sky.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

A 22% wage increase when inflation is ticking along at less than 2%? Sounds like pie in the sky

It’s a minimum wage increase. Accuracy matters. Inflation will not surpass 2% without an increase in the minimum wage.

Corporations pay as little as possible in order to maximize profit, which is why a minimum wage is necessary. Corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash.

All Shin-chan does is urge wage increases because he’s a rich kid that didn’t depend on himself for an income.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

A 22% wage increase when inflation is ticking along at less than 2%? Sounds like pie in the sky.

So is your theory to keep the low wage earners always at such a low level. When I found out how pathetic Japan's minimum wage is I was taken aback.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I think it more important that part time workers should have medical insurance and pensions.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Increasing base pay is a far better economic stimulus than the government throwing piles of money around and hoping it works. It's known that companies have large cash reserves but aren't investing them

9 ( +11 / -2 )

....and people wonder why the economy isn't growing, and people aren't having babies!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Japanese labor federation to demand minimum hourly wage of ¥1,100

Good news. But still not enough. Asking for 1500 would have been better.. but its still better than nothing...

So is your theory to keep the low wage earners always at such a low level. When I found out how pathetic Japan's minimum wage is I was taken aback.

Nick, some people have no clue about economics

....and people wonder why the economy isn't growing, and people aren't having babies!

Exactly!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Rengo will also demand employers offer equal labor conditions to workers regardless of their employment status and take measures to prevent any kind of harassment at the workplace, even if a worker is not a member of a labor union, it said.

I think this is great. The increase in minimum wage isn't. Foreigners in particular tend to always be on completely different contracts from their Japanese counterparts. Some people like to say we get paid more for doing the same job. But our difference in pay tends to be a few hundred. Their bonuses easily outclass that.

Mandatory annual pay raises is far better than increasing the minimum wage. While Japanese companies are perfectly capable of paying their employees higher wages, they have already expressed that they will not. Therefore, forcing a higher minimum will simply mean reduced staff and higher cases of overwork. Mandatory pay raises can help keep staff happy and be a soft compromise for these companies that have too much power.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When you see how many people line up for the "double points" days at the supermarket, you know something is wrong with wages. General pay levels have not moved much in over 20 years and corporations are just rolling in money - but Abe and his shabby crew continue to get elected. I just don't get it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is a step in the right direction. It wasn't long ago many part time jobs paid 680yen/hr.

But shifting part timers to full time with benefits should be the primary aim.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I live in inaka and I can just imagine all the people out there saying 1,100 yen is a good wage without thinking for one second about the practicalities of trying to live on it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good news. But still not enough. Asking for 1500 would have been better.. but its still better than nothing...

Are you kidding me! There is no way 1,100 or 1,500 yen an hour can sustain a part time worker at a middle class living standard. At least a 10,000 yen an hour government mandated minimum wage is necessary to keep young people with no skills out of homelessness and buck up their self- esteem. Just charge it to the government- ain’t no big deal.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@hakuba

When you see how many people line up for the "double points" days at the supermarket, you know something is wrong with wages.

While there is a problem with wages. I think that is just smart shopping. Same way I only buy meat on Sundays and Wednesday evenings when they are heavily discounted because the expiration date is next day. I buy that meat and freeze it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

¥10,000/hr?

That would be ¥20 milliom pa?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The minimum wage of ¥1100 per hour in Japan, which claims to be a rich country, is an absolute disgrace. Most jobs paying this salary are very hard and demanding work. Anybody on this pay rate is working their butt off to make around ¥180,000 per month, which is still well below the poverty line. Then, they still have to pay, income tax, health insurance, city and the rip off pension plus 10% sales tax. Add to this rent, utilities and food and they are broke within a week of getting paid. It is impossible to survive on this kind of salary. The amount of workers who are working for nothing is rapidly expanding in Japan and with it the cycle of poverty is also expanding. There are already 25% of Japanese kids living in poverty. A ¥170 per hour salary increase is not going to do anything to help these people. I think ¥1,500~ per hour is necessary to make some kind of impact on the poverty cycle.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The minimum wage of ¥1100 per hour in Japan, which claims to be a rich country, is an absolute disgrace. 

This. Who the hell can live of 1100 yen an hour?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

and during this time , the GOV is printing fake money called stimulus to full USA and their pockets.

Welcome naive! the circus continues!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I read this article and I am reminded of one very sobering fact.

It has only been in the last 100 years that the idea of a large percentage of the population being above the poverty line has even been viewed as being attainable / achievable. Whether in Japan or elsewhere.

Before then, it was a pretty bleak, survival of the fittest environment. Abject poverty was everywhere, people working fingers to the bone just to scrape by, and actually being able to improve one's place in life was the exception rather than the norm.

Why is it that I am beginning to think that this may well be the future the world, including Japan, is facing in the coming decades?! A world where the wealth is once again concentrated in the hands of a very small, privileged upper class, and the rest of the population working literally as slaves to these elites.

Such a bleak future would surely result in the have nots revolting against the haves. With the usual tragedies that accompany all revolutions.

There will come a point in time where even in Japan, the have nots will revolt.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A 22% wage increase when inflation is ticking along at less than 2%? Sounds like pie in the sky.

Nonsense. Comparing with with inflation has a little meaning here since the minimum wage is still far too low relative to the living cost in Japan. Don't speak economy when you know nothing about it please.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

1100 an hour is pretty poor money.  If you look at minimum wages in other countries and the cost of living here seems the least they can go for.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Still raising minimum wage is not a way to achieve goals.

If I can afford to pay my staff 1000¥ per hour and someone will want me to pay 1500¥ then it's either I will get rid of that staff and give that work to full time worker with a little bit of salary increase.

Secondly if you increase wage then obviously I increase the price of my products and other businesses will do that as well. So technically you will make same amount of money as you did before or even less.

Third inflation will go up so all the savings that people has will be slowly eaten by it. And I think this is the point of Abenomics as he wants to get rid of that 230% debt we have. Higher inflation will eat it as well , perfect for economy but for people especially older one who saved all their lives sucks big time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm happy with the current minimum wage. Raise minimum wage and you reduce my income.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@zones2surf

A world where the wealth is once again concentrated in the hands of a very small, privileged upper class, and the rest of the population working literally as slaves to these elites.

Yes, that's true but why is that?? Because people are lazy, they want to have high minimum wage, free healthcare, pension plan, free education ect. But they don't want to work. Some gaikokujin told me recently:

"Work is for poor and school is for stupid"

The truth is that all of us have opportunities to learn and make money but no-one will pay you decent wage or salary being English teacher in Japan. Especially when society is aging and most of the population doesn't want to have kids. I'm not saying teachers only but We Japanese have this attitude to work as well. It comes from tradition and will lead to tragedy as you mention because sooner or later that rich housewives will need to go to work eventually or they will end up on street.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Advice : learn specific trade skills.

Why would one pay someone which can be done by anyone.

Minimal wage is for starters.

What is necessary is indeed social services to live and included in a benefit package as the standard (minimal medical insurance, retirement contribution).

Learning is nearly free nowadays and people should do their part to go through hardship to gain more.

Why would someone with experience and knowledge be paid the same as a fresher ?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Japanese Government should provide an Unconditional Universal Basic Income of at least 3,245,550.00 yen (equivalent of $30,000 United States Dollars) to all of its citizens. Further, the amount should always be adjusted for inflation. If an Unconditional Universal Basic Income went into effect, it would enable anyone who ever falls on difficult times to have a cushion. The Unconditional Universal Basic Income would be the equivalent of throwing someone who is struggling to swim a life jacket. The Unconditional Universal Basic Income should also begin in neighboring countries like China and so forth.

In conclusion, if Unconditional Universal Basic Income went into effect for eternity, everyone would be able to sleep better at night, have less stress and therefore have a better quality of life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good news. Shows progress.

Unless your in the anti-Japan crowd... Then any news no matter how positive they have something negative to say.

Even if Japan found cure for cancer... They will say something negative about that.

Japan donates money for women world fund... They say something negative about that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been urging business leaders

He has been asking nicely, urging and playing pretend for long enough i think. You don't urge people or ask them nicely to pay their taxes. Who would? Wait until this ‘underclass’ becomes the “useless’ class in a decade or so with AI as per the predictions of people like Yuval Harari.

Wonder if the harmony can last, and if anyone is actually on the case?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the hustleToday  09:08 am JST

“The minimum wage of ¥1100 per hour in Japan, which claims to be a rich country, is an absolute disgrace.”

”Japan” does not have a minimum wage of ¥1,100. Minimum wages are set by the 47 prefectures or equivalent. Only two are over ¥1,000: Tokyo at ¥1,013 and Kanagawa at ¥1,011. Fifteen prefectures have minimum wages of ¥790. The average of all is ¥901. The figures for minimum wages as of October 2019 can be seen here:

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/koyou_roudou/roudoukijun/minimumichiran/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do the hustle:

The minimum wage of ¥1100 per hour in Japan, which claims to be a rich country, is an absolute disgrace

Mean while, the minimum wage in US is as low as $5.15 (¥550) as in Wyoming and Georgia. In states like California and Massachusetts, it is highest at $12.00 (¥1300).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I work at a large JP company and in my opinion the problem is that there are so many seishain who cannot be easily fired getting very high wages (e.g., 12-15 million yen). Because of them we cannot hire new persons, and I cannot be promoted because there are no senior spots. This whole system exists based on the premise of the nuclear family, with dad working himself to death with a stable and relatively high paying seishain job, and his wife either not working or working part time for 1000 yens and hour. However, a majority of people may not marry and have kids so the system is like trying to put a left hand glove on your right hand. And there you have it from the trenches.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Reckless, good points. Corporate Japan should man up and fire the freeloaders and unproductive workers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't know guys did you take Masterclass from Shinzō Abe or what?

Minimum wage is there to protect people from abuse or slavery by employers not other way around. If there wouldn't be minimum wage people would work for much less than that 950¥ there is always someone cheaper.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Others have said this, but I just want to say it is true. ¥1,100: this is why young Japanese are not marrying and having babies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Still raising minimum wage is not a way to achieve goals.

If I can afford to pay my staff 1000¥ per hour and someone will want me to pay 1500¥ then it's either I will get rid of that staff and give that work to full time worker with a little bit of salary increase.

That would need a full-time worker available to do that. If you don't have one, you've got to roll with it.

Secondly if you increase wage then obviously I increase the price of my products and other businesses will do that as well. So technically you will make same amount of money as you did before or even less.

The total increase per product will be tiny though. I live next to a medium-sized supermarket with maybe twenty staff at any one time. 20x¥200 = ¥4000 extra per hour, oh wow. And that's only if they're below the minimum wage.

Third inflation will go up so all the savings that people has will be slowly eaten by it. And I think this is the point of Abenomics as he wants to get rid of that 230% debt we have. Higher inflation will eat it as well , perfect for economy but for people especially older one who saved all their lives sucks big time.

It's not going to be armageddon, people said the same thing about the UK minimum wage and it didn't happen. The UK is going to raise the minimum to meet living costs and it'll save the government money because there'll be less in-work poverty

1 ( +1 / -0 )

^sorry the supermarket increase is based on a minimum wage of ¥900/hour

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not nearly enough, minimal wage in Japan should be upwars of 1500Y , simply due to tax structure and living costs

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is only a 2% pay increase which equals the 10% from 8% in tax. The real deal is in medical drugs field which many media has stayed away from. Many prescribed medications will no longer be covered by the National Insurance and patient will pay 100% out of pocket. hmmm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Reckless

@Bugle Boy of Company B

The both of you raise a good point. But those lazy people are products of the system that they created. The system that awarded people based on long hours and perceived hard instead of actual production. There was no benefit in productivity and were forced to work long hours. So that is what they became.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are you kidding me! There is no way 1,100 or 1,500 yen an hour can sustain a part time worker at a middle class living standard.

actually, you're right- 1500x 40 = 60,000 per week. That comes to 240,000 a month. If you think that's enough to live on, I can get you a job right now making that much a month if you are interested.

>

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hoping my company could read it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm happy with the current minimum wage. Raise minimum wage and you reduce my income.

Is your income more important than those on a minimum wage?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I recently saw a job for a full time ALT position. You get 220,000 yen and work everyday at least 6 hours excluding commute up to 1 hour, and some Saturdays. Minus all deductions that is pretty bad. Should start your own eikawa lessons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

is rengo really functioning ???.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For sure, Japan is heading steadily down that deflationary slope...Abe should man up with Kuroda and get the inflation they want...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Inflation will not surpass 2% without an increase in the minimum wage.

So let's say this call were heeded and the minimum hourly wage were 1,100 yen. For a 40 hour working week that works out to an annual income of 2,288,000 yen.

At 901 yen per hour 1,874,000 yen per year.

I'm not sure what percentage of people on the minimum wage would be working 40 hour weeks, every week of the year.

But I'm thinking that most workers in Japan are not working for the minimum wage of 1,874,000 currently.

So I doubt that this increase would have any significant effect at all on inflation.

Corporations pay as little as possible in order to maximize profit, which is why a minimum wage is necessary.

I think most people are earning more than the minimum wage, because most people wouldn't work for less than 2,000,000 yen a year.

Corporations have to typically pay more than that, to have any workers at all. Maybe Japan Today could do a poll to ask how many readers are actually on the minimum wage (if so I doubt they'd be reading Japan Today so it would give a skewed result, but I'd be interested to see anyway)

Corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash.

Corporations' retained earnings can be sitting in investments in businesses and the like - having earned profits in the past doesn't mean they're like Uncle Scrooge sitting on mountains of riches that statically do nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Corporate Japan should man up and fire the freeloaders and unproductive workers.

Yes, but that's very difficult to do under current policies in Japan. It's basically illegal to do so.

Making for a flexible labour market was supposed to happen under Abenomics, along with other reforms, but obviously the vested interests would never have that. Japan is stuck with this dual-class labour system.

A big crisis is needed before Japan makes big (and necessary) changes.

If there wouldn't be minimum wage people would work for much less than that 950¥ there is always someone cheaper.

Not very many people at all would be willing to work for such low wages, this is why there are moves recently to reduce services hours at convenience stores and the like. There is a shortage of labour willing to work under such conditions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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